Audi confirmed this week that they are pulling the plug on their all-electric e-tron supercar, which is basically a battery-powered version of the Audi R8. If you haven’t heard of the vehicle program despite being launched back in 2009, that’s because Audi ended delivering fewer than 100 units over the last 2 years since starting series production.
The company was reportedly working on a new generation, but they confirmed to Car and Driver yesterday that the program is dead and they are in “the process of delivering the last few units before production stops for good.”
At first glance, you might think that it is not a good sign for other all-electric supercar makers, like Rimac for example, but the e-tron was doomed from the start.
As mentioned, it’s basically an electric version of the Audi R8 but selling for 1 million euros ($1.1 million) or about 6 times the price of a regular Audi R8. If you are on the market for a $1 million car, that’s a hard sale.
Other EVs built on currently available vehicles had similar problems in the past, but never with such an important pricing difference.
The Audi e-tron was first unveiled in 2009 – right after Tesla started delivering its Roadster. The German automaker claims it can travel up to 280 miles (NEDC) on a single charge and accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph.
It was becoming even more of a hard sale with the new Tesla Model S P100D, which bests the e-tron on every performance metric and for a fraction of the price.
The vehicle program was not for nothing though since the company learned a lot about electric powertrains and it leveraged the technology for its next generation electric vehicles. The first model to come with this new generation is the Audi e-tron quattro, a luxury SUV.
It is expected to hit the market in 2018 and to offer similar performance as its predecessor, but at a much more attractive price point and of course, as an SUV.